Nolan Rapoza: World of Competitive Surfing

diciembre 15, 2023 2 min read

All competitive sports have their ups and downs. Competitive surfing comes with a lot more downs than you would think. But when you are winning in surf events there is nothing more rewarding. These are some of my highs and lows from my competitive surf career. Surfing in the US open for me is one of the most prestigious events of the year. I always go into this event with high expectations which also comes with extreme pressure as I have lots of friends and family as well as my sponsors like Body Glove on the beach cheering me on. I try to embrace my emotions and confidence to the fullest. In 2021 at the US open I felt like I was in one of the best physical/mental forms in my career. Going into my first heat I was very nervous to surf up against world tour surfer Kolohe andino and a couple other top surfers around the world. Passing that heat with ease and going into the next heat with more world tour surfers gave me huge confidence. Each day advancing to the next felt so rewarding and making it all the way to finals day was something I only dreamed of. The highlight of that event for me was drawing Kolohe andino again in the quarter finals and dominating him again for a 2nd time to move onto the semi final.

Pro Surfer Nolan Rapoza walking the beach after losing in Portugal

In Portugal this year I suffered one of my toughest losses. Sitting at 13th in the ranking need to jump just 3 spots to be in qualification for the world tour the pressure was really on me for this event. I go into each event the same way with the same game plans and preparations I need to be ready to surf all my heats. This particular event I felt I let my emotions get the better of me which then led me to make minor mistakes that could have been easily reversed. Going into my heat I paddled out in the channel which ended up giving me bad position to start the heat. Everyone in the heat caught waves before me and I was left with priority for over half the heat without catching a wave. My percentage of advancing became very low and I ended up loosing first heat in a contest the meant so much to me. Despite all my preparation and trust in my boards and wetsuits, I could feel my dreams slipping through my fingers. In the wins and losses it has taught me so much that you couldn’t possibly learn from anything else. Surfing has taught me about my self awareness and how to manage all different sorts of situations in my day to day life. No matter what the outcome is for competitive surfing there is no other sport that would bring me the joy surfing does.

Sit back and take a deeper dive into what drives Nolan Rapoza in the latest edition of The Lineup with Dave Prodan.

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